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Promoting Healthy Immune Systems in Both Mare and Foal

Posted by Miriam Altman, M.S. on



A healthy immune system is critical for all horses, especially young foals and broodmares. It is important for a foal to have a strong start to life. A compromised immune system in a mare can lead to health issues and can impact the growth and prosperity of her foal. If your mare's immune system is weakened, she may have trouble conceiving and once she has conceived she may struggle through her pregnancy. Mares that receive proper nutrition throughout gestation may have improved recovery after foaling and an easier time conceiving.

We all know breeding season starts in the spring but we often forget that this is also the start of allergy season. This can mean a lot of respiratory issues for horses with allergies. If your mare suffer’s from allergies, try Aleira. Aleira is a daily feed supplement designed to promote maximum respiratory and immune function in horses. Aleira is designed for horses with respiratory challenges such as allergies, heaves, and coughing, it provides natural, multilevel support to maintain healthy respiratory function. Aleira contains an all-vegetarian, fish oil-free source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), one of the most beneficial omega-3 fatty acids found in nature, along with proprietary Mushroom Matrix to help maintain lung function and immunity.

Proper immune support for the mare is important throughout to entire pregnancy to ensure that the foal is receiving proper nourishment and support in-utero. Another great supplement during the breeding season is Releira. Releira is a daily feed supplement that provides foals and broodmares with high quality DHA. When Releira is fed to gestating mares, DHA may have the biggest impact in fetal development. High quality omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to optimize brain, eye, and cardiovascular development in the fetus. After foaling, omega-3 fatty acids continue to transfer to the foal through the mare's milk, to further support foal cognitive function and trainability. Releira, when fed to broodmares, supports progesterone production and ovulation during gestation and while nursing. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids support the immune system and studies have also shown enhancement of blood plasma levels.

Along with a strong immune system, it is important for a pregnant mare to have proper digestive health. The digestive system performs vital functions, such as absorbing nutrients and blocking potentially harmful substances and microorganisms which impact the foal as well. In fact, if digestive health is compromised, the immune systems of both the mare and the foal will be compromised as well. Proper digestive function in the mare ensures that the foal is receiving proper nutrition in-utero and that the mare will have strong immune support.

If a your mare is suffering from digestive upset, try supporting her digestive system with a high quality, research backed nutritional supplement like Assure Guard. Assure Guard is a granular, daily digestive aid for gastric health as well as hindgut support and maintenance. This supplement is an excellent choice for mares that are nervous or stressed. It provides nutrients to help maintain proper stomach pH, while stabilizing the gastrointestinal system to keep the mare's digestive tract normal and healthy. Maintaining proper stomach pH helps reduce the risk of ulcers and stabilizing the entire system assists in the mare’s ability to absorb nutrients and reduces her risk of colic. Assure Guard contains calcium carbonate, probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes, and psyllium and utilizes a unique delivery system, GST, for reliable hindgut stabilization. This digestive aid is an excellent choice to maintain stomach as well as colonic health and add the extra support needed during times of stress, such as pregnancy.

For the most comprehensive digestive health care available, combine Assure Guard with Assure Plus. Assure Plus is a pelleted digestive aid to help support hindgut motility when challenged with various digestive disturbances. This unique formulation provides encased probiotics, prebiotics, psyllium, and enzymes to naturally support the mare's digestive system. In supporting the hindgut, it has been found that psyllium husk combined with probiotics and enzymes helps to support colonic health. Additionally, by rapidly supporting hindgut health and stabilizing motility, accumulated sand, silt, and debris can be passed in regular fecal excretions.

If your horse is a picky eater, Assure Guard Gold is the optimal choice. Assure Guard Gold combines the power of two products, Assure Guard and Assure Plus, providing the convenience of one step supplementation with the most reliable hindgut support. Assure Guard Gold comes in a convenient pelleted form which provides maximum palatability and minimal waste.This also a fantastic choice for difficult keepers and the power of this single product will give you peace of mind when managing a finicky mare.

Breeding season is a busy time and there is a lot for you to consider when they are developing an ideal breeding program for your mares. Although it is one of the most important systems for maintaining overall health, we often overlook the immune system during times like breeding season that are jammed packed with activity. There are so many ways that you can assist in providing mares with the best health and nutrition possible. Talking to your veterinarian about integrating a well-rounded health program into your breeding program to help ensure healthy immune systems for both mares and foals.